Ceremonies of the Spirit
by Wendy Brown-Baez
Plain View Press
Ceremonies of the Spirit is a collection of love poems that travels a spiral from infatuation to consecration, from the romantic to the mystical. Ceremonies has been called "gorgeous", "exquisite", "flirty", and "joyous work that should be celebrated.” Michael Parker’s review in the summer issue of Oranges and Sardines called Ceremonies of the Spirit poetry that heals and transforms: “Here are poems that are living, breathing things; that invite us into them, welcome us into their elegant, ethereal dance, and walk us across the threshold into sanctuary where we look inward, feed the soul's spark, commune with enlightenment, and transform.”
“That’s what Wendy does, she connects us with words and wraps us in the safety of a shawl so we can fall in love with poetry once again.”--Gary Glazner, Founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.
This is a love that has burned me,
consumed me, harvested me like a
wild bracket of grapes
to be trampled into wine. I am the wine,
I am the goblet blown from the crystalline
fire, I am the fire kindled from root,
I am the mouth that speaks in these riddles.
This is the love that cast me to my knees,
breathless and blackened like a tree
limb burnt on the hearth. I am the hearth,
the ash consummation, the warming of
bones, the coming of light. This is the love
that cast me into silver, molten pledge of illusive
grace, destined for beauty, destined for breath,
found in a treasure box of memory. I am the memory,
I am the song that pierces the twilight
and calls to the sky, I am the flute,
I am the river, I am the love that
weaves its way home.
from Ceremonies of the Spirit by Wendy Brown-Baez © 2009
Wendy Brown-Báez is renowned for her signature style as a performance poet. She takes you into her vibrant, colorful world with sensual imagery, elegant rhythms and poignant stories to celebrate the relentless quest of the human spirit for connection and joy. In 2004, Wendy released her poetry CD Longing for Home and since then, has performed poetry nationally, and in Mexico, in unique venues such as cafes, bars, galleries, schools, women’s retreats, parking lots, and cultural centers, solo and in collaborations.
She has published poetry and creative non-fiction in numerous literary journals, including Borderlands, Out of Line, Mizna, Minnetonka Review, The Awakenings Review, The Chrysalis Reader, Mississippi Crow, and Wising Up Press. Wendy was the recipient of 2008 and 2009 McKnight grants through COMPAS to teach writing workshops with at risk youth. She has performed locally in Minneapolis at Patrick’s Cabaret, The Loft, Magers and Quinn Booksellers, Stevens Square Center for the Arts, Altered Esthetics Gallery, Northeast Community Lutheran Church, Homewood Studios, and Banfill-Lock Center for the Arts.
Wendy has lived a dozen lives, it seems. She has managed shelters for the homeless, lived in Mexico and Israel, been a hospice volunteer, a preschool teacher, and has lost a son and a husband. Becoming a performance poet was a surprise, but her passion is to bring poetry to audiences that don’t usually attend poetry readings, such as at art festivals and women’s retreats. She dresses in costume and acts out her poems theatrically. Ceremonies of the Spirit has created a bridge from stage poetry to page poetry.
February 5 at 3:00 PM CST
Nadia Giordana, author of Thinking Skinny and editor of Misissippi Crow literary journal will interview Wendy Brown-Baez on her blogtalkradio show called Extraordinary Women
February 10 at 7:00 pm
Birchbark Reading Series
2115 West 21st St
Magers and Quinn Booksellers
Micawbers Books in St Paul